FOOTBALL NEWS

28/04/2013 18:40, Report by Ben Hibbs

Ice-cool RvP earns praise

Robin van Persie earned praise for holding his nerve to secure a draw for Manchester United from the penalty spot against Arsenal on a testing first return to the Emirates Stadium for the Dutchman.

The former Gunners front man has been hugely influential in delivering his first, and United’s 20th, league title this season, and after winning a first-half penalty following a foul from Bacari Sagna, van Persie had the composure to block out the boos from the home support and expertly convert his spot-kick.

Reds boss Sir Alex Ferguson was disappointed that his side did not convert more of the chances the team created, but he had no complaints when van Persie registered on the scoresheet in the 44th minute. “He kept his nerve, that was important,” the boss told MUTV. “It was a difficult time for him. The chanting from the fans doesn’t help, but he kept his cool.”

Phil Jones added: "He's got guts. He's a great player and a great lad. He knew coming back to his former club what he was going to expect today. He converted the penalty really well and I thought he played well.”

Patrice Evra alluded to it being an emotional occasion for van Persie. “People forget what he achieved for [Arsenal],” said the Reds left-back. “But he showed them that he hasn’t made the wrong choice. It was a long time that he didn’t win the league [at Arsena]. He has come to Manchester United and won the league.

“He did a good job for Arsenal and I was really disappointed for him. I think he felt it as well. To take that penalty he showed what a world-class, top player he is. He kept his nerves down to score that penalty and I am happy for him.”

More: Boss rues missed chances | Report: Arsenal 1 United 1

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